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Humility: A Forgotten Virtue (Strength for Life) Paperback – August 8, 2005
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"It's always with confidence and joy that I recommend Wayne Mack's books. He's so thorough and so thoroughly biblical that, when you read them, you know you've just spent valuable time with our Lord and His powerful Word." --Elyse Fitzpatrick, author and counselor
"Sometimes a book reads you while you are reading it. This is that kind of book. It has eyes!" --Jim Elliff, President of Christian Communicators Worldwide
"Wayne and Joshua Mack do an excellent job of diagnosing the cancer of pride and providing inspired biblical treatment. With the scalpel of Scripture, they carefully do surgery on the reader's soul. Drawing wisdom from biblical examples and great preachers of the past, they offer practical instruction for extracting pride and replacing it with its counterparthumility." --Jack Hughes, Senior Pastor, Calvary Bible Church, Adjunct Professor of Homiletics at The Master's Seminary
About the Author
Wayne Mack lives in Pretoria, South Africa, where he serves as a pastor-elder with his son-in-law and teaches biblical counseling at Strengthening Ministries Training Institute to pastors and aspiring pastors in the region. He also spends about six weeks in the USA teaching at various churches. He and his wife, Carol, have four adult children and numerous grandchildren.
Joshua Mack (M.A. in biblical counseling, The Master's College; M.Div., The Master's Seminary; D.Min., The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is pastor-teacher of Living Hope Church in Pretoria, South Africa, and Executive Director of 1Hope Ministries International. He and his wife Marda have five daughters as well as two boys and one girl in permanent foster care. He is the co-author of Courage and God's Solution to Life's Problems. You can read more of Joshua Mack's writings at joshnmarda.wordpress.com.
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in a church.
He really explores humility and pride in depth. He's very thorough. Examples of pride: a violent, argumentative, or critical person.
He identifies ways you can be prideful that I've never thought of, and then presents ways you can develop humility in yourself.
Important that every Christian read and apply this book. The book is just that good.
Wayne Mach is a fantastic author and have read his "It's Not Fair" and very helpful with his insight into a common feeling we all have at times that something is "not fair".
"This book was written," says Mack, "in an attempt to understand pride and humility from a biblical perspective and to help us diminsh the destructive pride factor and to increase the true humility factor in our lives." To do this the author uses a "four-D" approach. He begins with biblical definitions of pride and humility and then discusses how pride and humility display themselves. Finally, he explains how true humility can be developed and destructive pride can be diminished in the life of the believer.
The importance of this topic can hardly be overstated. The Scriptures make it clear to us that humility is an exceedingly important aspect of the Christian's character. The Bible continually exhorts God's people to be humble and to rid ourselves of all pride. We are often told that God pours out his blessing on those who display a humble heart. Pride strikes right to the heart of God as it is a proclamation on the part of a person that he considers his concerns to be more important than submission to his Creator. "Pride consists in attributing to ourselves the honor, privileges, prerogatives, rights and power that are due to God alone. Thus, it is the very root and essence of sin because pride, at its core, is idolatry of self. A proud person has put himself or herself in God's place."
Humility stands exactly opposed to pride. "Humility consists in an attitude wherein we recognize our own insignificance and unworthiness before God and attribute to Him the supreme honor, praise, prerogatives, rights, privileges, worship, devotion, authority, submission, and obedience that He alone deserves... It means having a servant's mind-set and always putting self last."
At the conclusion of each chapter is a set of questions of application and sometimes a self-evaluation. While I generally eschew this type of evaluation and have often found them to be somewhat less than useful, I found the questions in Humility to be challenging and relevant to the topic. They were a welcome addition and added significant value to the book.
While I enjoyed the book tremendously there were two areas that I considered negative. First, the author's definition of pride did not seem to allow for any level of pride whatsoever. Is there anything inherently evil with feeling proud of, for example, one's child? I would not think so, provided that one acknowledge his own and his child's dependence on God. Yet I am not sure that this would fit within Mack's definition of pride. He says also of humility that "As soon as we think we are humble, we're not; as soon as we think we have it, we've lost it." I am not entirely sure that this is the case. If a man may acknowledge other gifts given to him by God, could he not also acknowledge his own humility? Secondly, while I appreciate the usefulness and even necessity of reading the contributions of great Christians of days past, I felt that Mack may have relied a little too much on their writing. For example, the book concludes with fully five pages of an excerpt of one of Charles Spurgeon's sermons.
These are but small complaints. I enjoyed Humility and, far more importantly, was continually challenged and edified in reading it. Just days after reading the book I can already attest to some changes I have made and will continue to make in my life because of what I learned through its pages. Because of the importance of the topic this is a book that will benefit all who read its pages. I recommend that you do so!
The book focuses on the lost art of humility, one that can never be overstated too much, or repeated enough. To use an example, to continually speak of the fruit of virtue, but decline to ever apologize, seek repentance or ask forgiveness when one transgresses against his brothers, are indications of sure-footed pride.
The battle against pride is one we all should take up - repentance is surely the most sure way of dealing with this?
'Our pride wars against the admission that there is no good in us. Our sinful condition forever struggles with our total dependence on grace.' B Chapell, Christ-Centered Preaching p 105
Dr Mack writes that as a witness to pagan kings of God's sovereignty, Daniel's greatest service was to point out the excessive pride of King Nebuchadnezzar, and reveal God's coming judgment upon it. pp. 100-3
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I have read it three times....life changing! :)